Ever since I arrived here in Queenstown I've been hearing people talk about how beautiful the Ben Lomond hiking track is. So I finally decided to do it myself yesterday and since I'm doing the Milford Track in a few weeks I thought it would be a good way to see if I'm going to be alright on the Milford Track.
At first I was going to get out early in the morning (8AM) but as my roommate had a really good time that night I decided to get a little bit more sleep, so I got out at 9:30, ate some breakfast, filled up my water bottle took my camera (forgot sunscreen) and took off.
After walking up the Gondola hill I was already quite exhausted, so I took a 5 minute break to enjoy the stunning views of Queenstown. Then I walked over to the start of the Ben Lomond track, after about 5 minutes I started to feel the sun burning on my skin, so after I had asked a few people if they had any sunscreen a man gave me some.
Fully prepared I started the steep climb to the Ben Lomond summit (1748 metres high). I thought it would be an easy climb but after 15 minutes I found myself take more and longer breaks than actually walking. At about 1:30 I reached the summit and it was absolutely stunning. There are all different kinds of views and you can see for miles and miles.
As I mentioned, I thought I was fully prepared, but it turns out I just forgot to take some snacks with me. At the summit I could heared my belly rumbling. I wanted to eat something really bad, so I rushed down the mountain, I even ran for a few hundred metres (now I know that my shoes are not made for running). After an hour I was back at the top of the gondola, walked down into Queenstown and stopped at the convenience store next door to Nomads Queenstown to buy some cookies, I was dead after this hike but the views from the top of the mountain were worth doing it.
There are plenty of other walking tracks in Queenstown, all of which offer spectacular scenery.